Prep Impressions: Feb. 2, 2016

A look from inside the center circle at Colton High School. The Yellowjackets tied Bloomington, 3-3, on Wednesday Feb. 2, 2016.

A look from inside the center circle at Colton High School. The Yellowjackets tied Bloomington, 3-3, on Wednesday Feb. 2, 2016.

I covered the Bloomington-Colton girls varsity soccer game on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2016, for The Press-Enterprise, pe.com & @PEcom_preps, and came away thinking the Bruins let three points slip through their grasp.

Leading 3-1 at halftime, Bloomington gave up a goal two minutes into the second half, then were called for deliberate handling in the penalty area before Colton scored the equalizer on the ensuing PK to secure a point at home with a 3-3 win over the Bruins.

Bloomington (14-0-2 overall, 5-0-2 Sunkist League) still has yet to lose, but does have ties in two of its last four games. The Bruins started the season with 12 consecutive wins but are starting to show signs of a crack or two in defense. The two early goals perhaps re-enforced their over-confidence, and so they dropped back and let Colton get on the front foot.

Colton’s Rosa Castaneda busted through Bloomington’s back line for a goal in the 42nd minute to make it 3-2, and the Yellowjacktets’ persistent attack produced another opportunity on a cross into the area the was knocked down by the arm of a Bruins defender. Colton’s Melanie Lopez, who scored on a PK just before halftime, nailed this one, too.

Then there were four minutes — well into stoppage time — when the game was wide-open, back-and-forth, and about as good as any action there’s been this seen. Surging runs, tight passing, silky dribbling and shots on goal good enough to challenge the keepers. And still, it finished 3-3.

Buena, Colton. Buena, Bloomington.

Bloomington associate head coach Lupe Lopez:
“I think the girls are just nonchalant. They feel like the game’s won, and it happened against Summit and it happened today. Our energy went down. I tell them, ‘This game is a beautiful game that gives you a reality check and lets you know that you have to play 80 full minutes against any team because anything could happen at anytime.’ We just try to make them understand that because I think they get, like I said, nonchalant, relaxed. And (Colton is) a good team. They played a great second half. I did start a lot of my bench players but they need to step up, they need to play and keep the intensity up. it’s a positive because it teaches us a lot. We got to take the lesson and fly with it because it’s good for us. When we tied Summit and then the next game was against Grand Terrace, it helped us because if we had gone in there like this against Grand Terrace, we might lose the title right before CIF. I have to make these girls understand that anything can happen any day and that we do need to work. We need to get a lot better because they feel like they’re in good shape.”

Colton head coach Manuel Flores:
“They didn’t give up. They were resilient. Down 3-1 they could’ve given up, especially against a team like this, but they fought and they showed that there’s not quit in them, which I totally appreciate their effort. We were fortunate to have a couple PKs that helped turn the momentum a little bit, but it was a hard-fought game. The second half was a very 50-50 game. it was goods effort on both sides but first half we had a lot of mental errors that kind of hurt us early. Like I said, I appreciate their effort. They fought back. Last time we played this team we lost 4-0 so I thought it might be the same thing again. The last time we played them we tried to play more defensive and obviously they got us on some errors — they scored two goals on corner kicks last time — so we said, ‘We’re going to take it to them. We’re not going to hold back,’ and we played our style and not just defensively, we attacked and created lots of chances. Our game plan was we were not going to play defensive. We were not going to give in We’re going to see what we an do against to No. 1 team. We’ve worked a lot on defending corners and how to position ourselves and gives our self a better chance. We still have a chance. We still have to clinch. We have three more games. Summit’s right behind us so it’s not easy to clinch that playoff spot, but it’s coming together. We’re a family on the field.”

Colton junior Rosa Castaneda:
“I’m very excited and I’m happy for my team. They came up good from 3-0 to 3-3. I’m really happy for them. I was really nervous (about my goal). I though I was going to miss it because I was going to shoot it with my right but then I saw the goalie at the post and I got really nervous so I just shot it with my left. I thought I was going to miss, honestly. I honestly thought I was going to miss. I’m happy I didn’t. I mess up a practice. I just want to get that win again ‘GT’ (Grand Terrace). Next goal is to go to CIF with my team and continue. We got to get that net win on Friday first. From there we can keep moving on. One step at a time.”

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